The Importance of Being a Heads Up Driver
by City Manager Ken Striplin
Paying attention to the road and avoiding distractions while driving is always necessary. During this time of year, this is even more crucial, as our City sidewalks and crosswalks are filled with students heading to class as they kick off a new school year.
This is why the City of Santa Clarita wants to remind all drivers to keep their “Heads Up.” This means putting the cell phone away, not messing with the radio, not grabbing a meal to go and not doing anything that pulls your attention away from the road in front of you. These simple actions could have lifesaving results.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each day in the United States, approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that involve a distracted driver. This sobering statistic is just one of the reasons the City formed the Traffic Safety Team in 2012. The team is made up of members of the City’s traffic engineering and communications divisions and the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. By focusing on the Three E’s - Education, Enforcement and Engineering, the number of traffic accidents in our City has dropped significantly. The collisions rate is now down 32.2 percent and the injury rate is down 36.6 percent.
While these numbers are encouraging, we must remain vigilant and continue to be aware of our actions on the road. This message hits hard as we prepare for our Evening of Remembrance. The annual event, coming up this year on September 17, 2019, is held at the Youth Grove at Central Park and is a time to reflect, remember and honor Santa Clarita youth who have lost their lives in traffic-related incidents. The memorial consists of 107 tree stumps adorned with plaques, each bearing the name of local youth who lost their life.
I encourage each of you to take the time to review our tips for safe driving at santa-clarita.com/HeadsUp. Let’s each do our part to keep Santa Clarita roads safe for all who travel on them.
City Manager Ken Striplin can be reached at Kstriplin@santa-clarita.com